Most of all, [Žižek] can’t stand students. “Absolutely. I was shocked, for example, once, a student approached me in the US, when I was still teaching a class – which I will never do again – and he told me: ‘You know, professor, it interested me what you were saying yesterday, and I thought, I don’t know what my paper should be about. Could you please give me some more thoughts and then maybe some idea will pop up.’ F**k him! Who I am to do that?”

Žižek has had to quit most of his teaching posts in Europe and America, to get away from these intolerable students. “I especially hate when they come to me with personal problems. My standard line is: ‘Look at me, look at my tics, don’t you see that I’m mad? How can you even think about asking a mad man like me to help you in personal problems, no?’” You can see what he means, for Žižek cuts a fairly startling physical figure – like a grizzly bear, pawing wildly at his face, sniffing and snuffling and gesticulating between every syllable. “But it doesn’t work! They still trust me. And I hate this because – this is what I don’t like about American society – I don’t like this openness, like when you meet a guy for the first time, and he’s starting to tell you about his sex life. I hate this, I hate this!”

I have to laugh at this, because Žižek brings up his sex life within moments of our first meeting.